BSP on Yasay’s arrest for alleged violations of banking laws: ‘No comment’

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019   •   341

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday said it will not issue any comment on the arrest of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., for his alleged violation of the country’s banking laws.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will not issue any comment as the matter is pending before the court and to do so would violate sub judice rule,” the central bank said in a statement.

On Thursday night, the Manila Police served a warrant of arrest to Yasay for his supposed violations of the provisions of Republic Act 8791 otherwise known as the General Banking Law, and Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act.

READ: MPD serves warrant of arrest to ex-DFA Sec. Yasay

Based on the information about the case, Yasay, together with five associates of the Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgages Bank conspired and aided each other in securing a loan amounting to P350-million for Tierrasud Incorporated which was partly guaranteed and secured by Tropical Land Corporation.

Yasay and company allegedly failed to report such loan accommodation to the BSP.

“The service of the Warrant of Arrest against Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. is a consequence of the filing of criminal information by the Department of Justice before the court,” the BSP said.

“A judge issued the said warrant pursuant to the provisions of the Rules of Court,” it added.

On his Facebook account, Yasay denied the allegation, pointing out that he joined Banco Filipino in 2009, while the alleged crime was committed from 2003 to 2006.

Yasay served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines in an ad interim basis from June 30, 2016 until March 8, 2017.

BSP to transfer money production facility to New Clark City

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The currency production facility of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to be transferred to a new location in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, the central bank said on Friday.

In a statement, the BSP said it has signed an agreement with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Friday to formally work on the establishment of the new production facility on a 29.22-hectare parcel of land within the new government administrative center being built in New Clark City.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by BSP governor Benjamin Diokno and BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon.

“We are proud that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chose New Clark City as the site of its facilities. The relocation of government agencies to this future-proof and resilient metropolis brings the vision for the city of the future to life,” Dizon said.

According to Diokno, they considered several locations across Metro Manila but only the New Clark City met the BSP’s “stringent set of criteria.”

“After an exhaustive canvass of sites north and south of Metro Manila, needless to say that the New Clark City is the only one that met the requirements of the BSP—with flying colors, might I add,” he said.

“It is crucial for the BSP to maintain a currency production facility that will allow sufficient agility to meet the country’s currency requirements. The move to the New Clark City will also boost the Bank’s capacity to sustain its operations in times of calamity or natural disaster,” he added.

The central bank said its new facility is located near the access road connecting New Clark City to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

The MOU indicates that the development of the BSP offices in the new government center will be consistent with the Phase 1 development of the New Clark City within 2019 to 2022, the BSP said.

The 200-hectare new government center is the first phase of New Clark City, which has been dubbed as the country’s first smart, green, sustainable and resilient metropolis.

The project involves the construction of back-up offices of government agencies to ensure continuous business operations and services in case of disasters or natural calamities.

It also includes the world-class sports complex to be used for this year’s South East Asian Games (SEA Games), a residence for government employees, and a river park – all of which are 98-percent complete.

Inflation downtrend continues at 1.7% in August 2019

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019

The inflation rate in the Philippines continued to decline at 1.7% in August 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The August 2019 rate is lower compared with the 2.4% inflation rate in June. This is also the lowest rate since October 2016 (1.8%).

According to National Statistician Dennis Mapa, the inflation downtrend is due to the slow increase of food prices, including non-alcoholic beverages.

He also said that the low fuel and rice prices also decreased since the implementation of the rice tariffication law.

Meanwhile, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) estimates that the inflation rate will continue to go lower this September.

“The latest inflation outturn is consistent with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ prevailing assessment that it will continue to decelerate in the third quarter of 2019 and picky up slightly in the fourth quarter,” according to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno in a statement.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Beware of false claims: BSP denies approving KAPA investment scheme

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday denied claims it has approved the investment scheme of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA).

“The BSP advises the public that it has not released any statement or any issuance concerning the Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) or any of its affiliates,” the central bank said in a statement.

It also stressed that KAPA is not a BSP-supervised entity.

“This clarification is being issued in view of reports, particularly, on social media, falsely claiming that the BSP has issued a statement purportedly approving KAPA’s investment scheme or questioning delays on its approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” the BSP said.

The SEC earlier renewed its warning and urged the public to exercise caution and discernment amid false claims allegedly made by KAPA on social media about securing necessary licenses to resume its operations.

READ: SEC warns public against KAPA’s false claims

KAPA also claimed to have filed an application for a secondary license to sell and offer for sale securities.

“SEC has already issued a cease and desist order against KAPA in February 2019 and an order of revocation of its certification of incorporation in April 2019 after KAPA was found to have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license, and that its investment scheme qualifies as a fraud and a Ponzi scheme,” the central bank said.

SEC records show that KAPA registered as an independent religious organization in March 2017 indicating its headquarters in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

Under its scheme, KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

But based on the SEC’s investigation, KAPA promised its members billions of pesos in returns but its assets cannot back up such claims.

The SEC previously issued an advisory against Kapa for unauthorized soliciting of investments.   

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code, provides that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.”

Section 26 of the Code further prohibits fraudulent transactions, including Ponzi schemes where investors are lured with impossibly high returns and paid using money contributed by other investors

Section 28 further states that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the Philippines as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered with the SEC.

In light of this, the SEC said those acting as salesman, broker or agent may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They may also face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both, pursuant to Section 73 of the Securities Regulation Code.

Last June, the SEC filed criminal complaints against KAPA, its founder and other officials involved in the scheme.

In the same month, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the freezing of several bank accounts and other assets linked to Kapa upon the petition of the SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

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